Colbert 1, U.S. State Department 0

By Wanderer · Aug 5, 2010 · Updated Aug 6, 2010 · ·
  1. Wanderer
    Colbert 1, U.S. State Department 0

    On last night's Colbert Report, an amazing moment occurred when Stephen Colbert raised a major social issue that U.S. mainstream media assiduously ignore: the huge U.S. prison population. The issue quickly disappeared due to the apparent ignorance of Colbert's guest: Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, in charge of "Democracy, Human Rights and Labor."

    In a sometimes jokey interview with Posner discussing China's various human rights abuses (including prisoners), Colbert tried to steer the conversation to human rights problems in our own country.

    Colbert's assertion is indisputably true. Posner's denial is false. Does the State Department's man in charge of human rights not know the facts?

    According to statistics gathered by the authoritative International Centre for
    Prison Studies in London, the United States has by far the largest prison population in the world: almost 2.3 million people behind bars. China's prison population is second in the world: roughly 1.6 million.

    The United States is also number 1 in the world in its "prison population rate": 748 inmates per 100,000 citizens. Russia is 3rd. China is tied for 114th.

    This is a U.S. human rights problem of enormous proportions. Our bloated prison population has many causes: the "drug war," mandatory minimum sentencing, poverty, racism. And there are corporate profits to be made from "The Prison-Industrial Complex" - as independent journalists like Eric Schlosser began documenting a dozen years ago."

    Wouldn't it be great to see this issue tackled by some mainstream TV voices . . . other than Stephen Colbert?

    Jeff Cohen
    Author and Media Critic
    Posted: August 5, 2010 11:54 AM

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  1. godztear
    Stephen Colbert usually hits pretty well on various issues, even though he likes to poke fun a lot. I probably watch him 4 nights out of the week. I missed this last one though, but they will be showing that episode again here in about 2 1/2 hours from now (1:30pm Central Time) on Comedy Central.
  2. Wanderer
    The show will be shown on the Comedy Central web site in a day or two. International viewers can also access this episode as well.

    It's insane it takes a "comedy satire" show to bring out this point the mainstream media ignores.

    Personally SWIM gets most of his real news from "The Daily Show" and "Real Time with Bill Maher".

    Sad, but true. These shows portray themselves as the court jesters, but they are able to get away with saying things the mainstream media just can't get away with under the guise of comedy.

    The figure indicate that almost 1 in 1000 Americans is in jail.
  3. gmeziscool2354
    I dont think this is insane, its in the cery definition of sayire to use ridicule and such to brig about social change. I think steve and john (daily show) do a great job adressing isssues that i (and most other americans my age) care about.

    I know my 2 biggest goals in life are to be interviewed by 1 of those 2.
  4. Solstice
    This is slightly off topic but I wonder who's gonna take over Jon's spot on the Daily Show when he retires. He's gotta be getting close to it I imagine.
  5. xenos
    I think you both are right. Other than a few exceptions, in the mainstream press, satirical reporting is one of the most vicious in "keeping it real". Also, The Onion, and IMHO, even the ridiculous papers selling stories about "Bat Boy" lol. These papers are nonpartison, they make fun of EVERYBODY.
    I think that fact actually unites the viewers, whether they identify with the left, right, center, lower 2nd quadrant:p, whatever. It unites all these people of different backgrounds to sit back and laugh at the conniving motherfuckers that ru(i)n the planet. :thumbsup:
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